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Tacos El Autlense tops Dirty Dining list with sanitation issues and more

Posted at 10:48 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 08:56:36-04

It's common sense to wash your hands after using the restroom, especially when you work in a commercial kitchen. But that didn't happen at the restaurant in the latest Dirty Dining.

The bells signal our arrival at Tacos El Autlense -- which is enough to set things in immediate motion.

As soon as Darcy Spears and her crew we walked in, the man at the front counter got on his cell phone and kind of disappeared into the back of the kitchen. And something else happened.

The lady preparing food was not wearing gloves when we first walked in. When she saw our camera, she put the gloves on.

Tacos El Autlense on Lamb Boulevard between Carey Avenue and Lake Mead Boulevard got a 38-demerit C grade. 

Violations include a food handler who didn't wash hands after going to the restroom. Expired food included menudo that was 11 days old and 8-day-old birria. And containers of shrimp, beef, tortillas and onions were stored on the floor.

We wait, but no one comes to talk to us until a woman arrives from the business next door.

Woman: They said they don't want to get interviewed.
Darcy: OK. They don't even want to know why I'm here?
Woman: No.
Darcy: So then how do they know they don't want to be interviewed if they don't know why I'm here?
Woman: Why are you here?

We show her the health inspection detailing shrimp left thawing in a bucket of standing water and six boxes of tripe thawing at room temperature since delivery the day before. Inspectors also found a gallon of milk for customer coffee was left out on the counter for several hours. 

There was a repeat violation for no sanitizer. And a prep table couldn't hold a safe temperature. 

Also, an employee's glasses and cell phone were sitting right on the cutting board.

Darcy: And we want to get their side of the story. We'd like to find out what they have to say.
Woman: They don't want to be recorded and I hope he's not recording me because I'm not...
Darcy: Who are you?
Woman: Who am I?
Darcy: Yeah.
Woman: Why do you need to know my name?
Darcy: I just always want to make sure we're getting a proper representative of the restaurant to speak for the restaurant.
Woman: We don't, we don't... He doesn't want to get recorded, so we would like for you guys to step out.
Darcy: They have nothing to say about the violations at all?
Woman: No.

But they apparently did have something to say because the guy who was behind the counter comes out after we leave and starts shouting at us across the parking lot from the doorway.

Darcy: I'm sorry, what did you have to say? What's that? Can't hear you!

With that, he disappears back inside.

There's one imminent health hazard closure this week: Pizza 'n' Pizza in the Boulevard Mall was shut down for a double whammy -- lack of adequate refrigeration, plus they failed reinspection from a previous C grade.

Inspectors found multiple repeat violations including a large container of moldy ricotta cheese and lots of food at unsafe temperatures. 

Also, their C grade card was not posted.

The management at Pizza 'n' Pizza had to attend an intervention training conference with the Health District and are now back to a zero-demerit A grade. 

Tacos El Autlense still has a C.